KazMunaiGaz National Co., Kazakhstan's state-owned oil and gas company, bought a 75 percent stake in Rompetrol Group NV, the two companies said. Ilya Pustogachev, a spokesman for Astana-based KazMunaiGaz, and Rompetrol spokesman Bogdan Urzica both declined to specify how much the Kazakh company agreed to pay. A news release on the Balkan company's Web site today valued the entire group at $3.6 billion. At that level, a 75 percent stake would be worth $2.7 billion.
Our view: The price paid for (54 EUR, -0,82%) stake in Rompetrol Group appears relatively high to us. According to our valuation the EV of Rompetrol Rafinare, which is the major value contributor in the Group, stands at USD 1.8bn. The 75% owned by Rompetrol Group is accordingly USD 1.3bn. The value of other assets is around USD 450m, which results in a value of USD 1.75bn. From long term strategic point of view, we see the change in ownership as positive. Cash rich KazMunaiGaz will be able to provide sources to finance the ambitious investment plans of Rompetrol, which were under major pressure due to the stretched financial position of the company. Even if the Capex plans are changed, we believe that major investments directions (refining, retail) will be preserved.
Similar to the case of Unipetrol’s Ceska Rafinerska, the companies seeking to get access to the refining assets in the region are willing to pay much higher price than it is expected by the market. This could be a positive sign for the market to reassess the valuation of other CEE refiners in the light of recent acquisitions in the region. This concerns mainly (26 800 HUF, -1,43%) and Tupras, as the other refiners are protected from the foreign acquisition by the state stake.